Moh-Mol celebrations in Arunachal Pradesh welcome the new year
Moh-Mol is a pre-harvest festival celebrated by the Tangsa community of Changlang district. It is to seek blessings for a bumper harvest from the Goddess of Crops – Tunguja Chamja. They offer prayers called rom-rom and perform the Sapolo, a popular folk dance of the community.
गाँव कनेक्शन 25 April 2022 8:45 AM GMT
The Tangsa tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh's Changlang district are celebrating their new year today, April 25, as the Moh-Mol festival. Considered the most important festival of the northeastern state, Moh-Mol is a harvest festival of the local tribal communities whose livelihood revolves around agriculture. It is celebrated with religious fervour and devotion.
While some communities of the Tangsa tribe in Changlang district observe this festival as the beginning of agricultural activity in the field, some do it for sowing paddy whereas others welcome new crops into their homes. Changlang district is covered with picturesque hills in the southeastern corner of Arunachal Pradesh and is home to a number of tribal communities.
To welcome the new year, people recite mantras for a good harvest of their crops, pray for prosperity of their wealth, livestock, family and community. The highlights of the festival include offerings, sacrifices, food, drinks, folk songs and dances to the tunes of drum beats and gong reverberations.
The local people also seek blessings, for their bumper harvest, from the Goddess of Crops – Tunguja Chamja – by offering prayers called rom-rom. They also pray for the accumulation of wealth from the Goddess of Prosperity and the longevity of the Nong culture.
The celebrations involve playing of the traditional musical instrument Bong whose sound reverberates through the mystic setting of the Tangsa villages. Sapolo folk dance, one of the most popular folk dances of the Tangsa community, is also one of the main highlights of the festival.
The time of the festival varies with the time of particular agriculture activity but in present days, it's officially celebrated on April 25 every year.
Moh-Mol marks the end and beginning of the new calendar year and people of all ages come together to celebrate this occasion. It's seen as an opportunity to let go of the old painful memories and fatigue, and welcome the new year with enthusiasm and energy.
Just like other festivals, Moh-Mol is an opportunity for people to exchange gifts with their loved ones. People look for moh/mol to meet and greet their distant relatives. Moh/mol also provides an important opportunity to build new friendships and acquaintances. Strangers are able to connect with each other on this day and establish permanent relationships.
Some sub-tribes of the Tangsa community bid ritual farewell to departed souls of their family. The tribal people believe that the soul of the deceased dwells in the family who needs farewell by offering food and drinks for their peaceful rest.
Weaving is a very integral part of every household of Changlang's Tangsa community as it displays the culture and traditions of the people. They have their own hand-woven unique designs on their dresses for both women and men.